CANADA 2019

PAGE ONE | PAGE TWO | RODEO

Photos © Ruud Leeuw

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Welcome to my report of a roadtrip through British Columbia and Alberta in a little over two weeks (Sep.25th - Oct.12th).

I knew travelling in West Canada would bring rain, but unfortunately we had more rainy days than usual: I travelled
these parts on at least 3 other occasions. With the weather often being grey and wet, my mood often sank when
I found other items on my program did not work out. After Oct.1st tourist venues are often closed I found.
But we did get to see a lot and with the ease of travelling here in great scenery I am certain we will return here at some point.

To bottom page

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
One of the pleasures of travelling through Canada and the US are the easy stays in motels, many if not most
serve some kind of breakfast. Breakfast in a place like this (Comfort Inn at Langley) is a telling sign I am
again on a roadtrip and every day is like a present waiting to be unwrapped.
During 18 days we stayed at 13 different locations.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The first day on the road we took a nice lunch stop in Hope,BC. Across the road from the Hope Mountain Cafe
is a nice secondhand bookshop, Baker's Books. The Memorial Park is on my left here.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Twentyfour chainsaw wood carvings are displayed and exhibited throughout the downtown core of Hope.
Memorial Park in downtown Hope has a display of chainsaw wood carvings. [Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Hope is a commuter town and district municipality at the confluence of the Fraser and Coquihalla rivers in the province of British Columbia.
Hope is at the southern terminus of the Coquihalla Highway and the western terminus of the Crowsnest Highway, locally known as the Hope-Princeton (Highways 5 and 3, respectively), where they merge with the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1).
Hope holds chainsaw wood carving competitions and exhibitions. [¬Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Besides the woodcarving in the immediate vicinity of the cafe and a quick look at the bookshop we did not
venture further into town, due in part to the wet weather but mainly because we'd decided to take the long,
but scenic, route to Kelowna this day: via Highway 3, EC Manning Provincial Park and Penticton.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We brought our own SatNav ('TomTom') from home, which worked well enough except that the maps evidently
were somewhat outdated, notably for maximum speed limits and locations of restaurants.
I had treated myself, knowing we'd be spending a lot of time in the car (Nissan Rogue rental from Alamao), on
Satellite Radio (SXM). Willie's Roadhouse, Outlaw Country and The Bridge were the fav channels! [Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The beautiful route to Pentiction brought better weather so we could enjoy the rugged scenery.
And I always have my eyes out for remarkable cars: here 4 McLaren sportcars passed us in a disciplined way.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
By the time we passed through Princeton we had rain again, but later on the sun returned.


 


Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We stayed for the night in Kelowna, this time merely a stop en route and a glimpse at the planes at the airport.
After leaving Kelowna, driving east, the mountains became higher and higher. We knew we were in for a change of weather.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A stop in Revelstoke saw very acceptable weather, but the people must be rugged
here, for sitting outside while the temperature was no warmer than 9 degrees Celsius!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Both the roads as well as the scenery are fantastic here. Holiday travel, here in 3 sorts of RV's, is evident
and we discussed whether we should travel by motorhome one day. But we love the comforts of motels best!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I hate to use the word 'awesome', but it would be more than fitting here.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The skislopes are waiting for the snow. Soon..

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We drove that road in the distance, the mountain goat looks at its route down below.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We knew that this day we could expect snow while heading for Calgary over the mountains. I'd made certain my rental
car was equipped with 'M+S' (Mud and Snow) tires. The weather made a stop at Banff unattractive, so we plowed on.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
On my travels I like to explore (secondhand) bookshops and Calgary's Fair's Fair for Book Lovers (907 9 Ave SE)
was a great succes, I walked away with several very interesting finds.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The view from 'Spolumbo's Fine Foods & Deli' (also on 907 Ave SE), where we stopped for coffees. Very nice place.
I had hoped to see more of Calgary this time, never truly explored this city, but the weather made some options (e.g.
the Bird Sanctuary) less attractive. The Mall at Chinook Centre was not of interest to us and soon abandoned. Pages
on Kensington (bookshop) brought me two more books and a drive across town.
We left earlier for Drumheller, our next stay (for two nights), our base for attending the ProRodeo at Hanna

 

Safety warning prior to getting on the road:
ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Hanna is a little further east from Drumheller, in the province of Alberta. The Arena is also the curling hall, for
this event involved in a huge makeover with lots of sand, to play host to this spectacular event.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The Indoor ProRodeo at Hanna was one of the highlights of this trip. The weather was... interesting!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The famous Canada goose.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Very early snow, even for these parts of the country. Some contestants of the rodeo became stranded
en route in Montana and unable to attend for the snowy roads. But we got to see all the spectacular disciplines.

 

PRORODEO EVENT AT HANNA, ALBERTA

ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019
Canada's Miss Rodeo, Jaden Holle, presenting the Canadian Maple Leaf flag.

ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019
The 'Pick Up Chicks'.

ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019
Bucking horses: Bronco riding!

ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019
And there he goes..

ProRodeo at Hanna, ALberta 29Sep2019

MORE ON MY PAGE PRORODEO @HANNA, ALBERTA 2019

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The First Oil Well in Western Canada National Historic Site of Canada is in what is now Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta. It commemorates the 1902 oil strike . The well was the first productive oil well in the western Canadian
provinces. On our drive between Drumheller and Hanna we saw many of these 'pumpjacks'.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The snow made the scenery rather interesting, otherwise the endless horizon may have been a bit boring.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A farm with bisons, along Route 9 I think.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Entering the 'badlands' of Drumheller.


Over a long period of time, this was the 2nd time I stayed in Drumheller and I considered revisiting the Royal
Tyrrell Museum of Palaeontology (a.k.a. 'the Dinosaur Museum') for I remembered nothing of my 1999 visit.
But it was late in the day (4;30pm) and I was cold to the bone, so left that for another time.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I always think of castles when I pass these roadside silos in Canada.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The snowfall intensified..

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Local roads (575/836) around Drumheller were in a bad condition during the morning, my traction control
showed warnings on my dashboard, but approaching Route 21 (North) saw a steady improvement.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Driving west towards Penhold (Route 42) showed this area to have been the northern boundary of the snowfall.
After our visit and lunch at a friend of mine, I visited Red Deer Regional Airport for planes and continued for the night.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
After a very comfortable stay in Rocky Mountain House (Walking Eagle Lodge) we woke up to a perfectly splendid day!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The snowfall of the past few days had decorated the mountains with a nice sprinkling of 'the white stuff'!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
With the sun out (temperature hovering between 0 - 4 Celsius) we could fully appreciate the autumn colours.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We drove Route 11 west to where it joined Alberta's scenic Highway 93.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Highway 93 is a north-south highway in Alberta, Canada.
It is also known as the Banff-Windermere Parkway south of the Trans-Canada Highway (Highway 1) and the Icefields Parkway north of the Trans-Canada Highway. It travels through Banff National Park and Jasper National Park and is maintained by Parks Canada for its entire length.
It runs from the British Columbia border at Vermilion Pass in the south, where it becomes British Columbia Highway 93, to its terminus at the junction with the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) at Jasper.
The route takes its number from U.S. Route 93, which runs uninterrupted south to central Arizona, and was initially designated as '93' in 1959. [Wikipedia]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Forest fires, so prevalent during the past 3 or so years (this season was very wet, so less danger of fires), have
devastating results for scenery but also for the logging industry.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I was told this is Eriophorum angustifolium, commonly known as common cottongrass or common cottonsedge. (NL:Wolpluis/veenpluis). It is a species of flowering plant in the sedge family Cyperaceae. Native to North America,
North Asia and Northern Europe and it grows on peat or acidic soils, in open wetland, heath or moorland.
It begins to flower in April or May and, after fertilisation in early summer, the small, unremarkable brown and green flowers develop distinctive white bristle-like seed-heads that resemble tufts of cotton; combined with its ecological suitability to bog, these characteristics give rise to the plant's alternative name, bog cotton. [Wikipedia]

But the fact that "..it grows on peat or acidic soils, in open wetland, heath or moorland." makes me doubtful...
Another suggestion was 'Plane-leaved Willow' (Salix planifolia), in particular the Diamond Leaf Willow, Tea Leaf Willow "Moist areas. A shrub growing from less than 3ft to 9ft forming dense thickets with shiny, reddish-brown twigs.
Leaves are oval-shaped, green on top, gray underneath." [rockymountainsflora.com]

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I think we were here approaching Bow Lake, where we did a lunch at Simpson's Num-Ti-Jah Lodge (below).
Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Frosty conditions near the road sometimes.
We drove over Hwy93 to Lake Louis and then drove along the Bow Valley Parkway in the direction of Banff. For I had
been assured I would surely see bisons on that route. Nil, nada, nothing. And a solid wall of trees left and right,
plus a blocked passage near Banff - so we had to turnaround and drive that same boring route again! Disappointing.
At Lake Louise we did not get past the large parking lot, bought some souvenirs and drove on. Visiting the lake by
bustransfer, join the crowds, it was all too Disney-like for me.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
On our way to Golden, our stop for the night, we did a quick stop at Yoho's Natural Bridge
The word Yoho is a Cree expression of amazement or awe and very apt here. This formation is located 3 km west of
Field, accessible from the road to Emerald Lake. We decided against visiting Emerald Lake this time as I found out
that Golden is still in the Mountain Time Zone, so we did not gain an hour yet, driving east, as I had expected.
Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I felt lucky this happy couple were doing a bridal photoshoot, made a change of scenery here!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The previous day had been a very sunny and pleasantly refreshing day, but the morning view from the Ramada
showed a change of weather. We did not get much rain but conditions were largely cloudy & grey.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We had stopped on our way east to Calgary in Revelstoke, but did not have the time to explore. So now we made time.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Autumn colours in Revelstoke, but I have to admit I used Photoshop to bring them out..

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Main Street Cafe in Revelstoke. Hot coffee and a brownie to drive away the cold.
We told the waitress we saw so little wildlife (bison, bears, bald eagles) and she told us bears visited her garden at night!

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
On main street we also visited a nice bookshop, Grizzly Book & Serendipity Shop, where I bought
a nice little book about 'bush flying' in West Canada. A book I had just finished, 'Offline' by Anne Holt,
I donated to this Street Library. We only explored Main Street here, as we had to leave for Salmon Arm.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The Burner Bar & Grille, probably an interesting place to stop but not this time.
It is on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy 1) near Malakwa,B.C. - about halfway Revelstoke-Salmon Arm.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
While in Salmon Arm, visiting the Visitor Centre, for directions and information, we were advised to visit Salmon
Arm Wharf for birds and bald eagles. And yes, I did get a bald eagle on camera! Better yet, the sun was out!
The pier has a length of 300 meters and is supposed to be the longest in North America. It offers an excellent
view on the bird reserve; apparently some 250 to 500 species of migratory birds stop here at various times.

On my route I was set to visit Brackendale, between Whistler and Horseshoe Bay, known for large numbers
of bald eagles to congregate there in large numbers. Not one I found there and I was properly disgusted with that.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
At the visitor centre we asked directions for where we could see salmon swimming, on their migration upstream.
I had been advised to go to Salmon Arm, but knew it was somewhere out of town. We were told to continue on Hwy 1,
take the exit at Squilax. A few suggestions in mind we drove too long on the Aquilax-Anglemont Rd, turned around
and walked the trail to the river in Tsútswecw Provincial Park. We arrived at a viewing spot, but there were few
salmon around. The salmon were best viewed with sunglasses, for the polarizer effect; the salmon were still in a
process to turn red. All in all this item on my list fell short of my expectations, but there was something wrong with
the salmon migration in general, it was even on the evening news. Consequently, I saw disappointingly few bald eagles.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
And the road goes on.. After a stay in Kamloops we headed for Whistler on scenic Highway 99.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Another disappointment: The Deadman Junction Ranch was closed, probably due to the end of summer season.
Historic Hat Creek was closed too. Oct.1st is a pivotal date in that respect.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Managed to get a few photos over the fence.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
A view on the Thompson River; we caught a moment where the sun made a reappearance.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We left Hwy 99 for a lunch in Lillooet. 'Logging' and 'Tourism' meet each other on this photo.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Lillooet is a charming little town and so is the 'Abundance Artisan Bakery'. Recommended. The museum was closed.

Lillooet is a charming little town and so is the 'Abundance Artisan Bakery'. Recommended. The museum was closed.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Duffey Lake is located beside the Duffey Lake Road, about 45 minutes East of Pemberton on Hwy 99.
There is a large log jam here, apparently in situ for a long time. Nice place to stretch the legs for 10 minutes.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Our stop for the night: Whistler. Due to a sort of in-between-seasons I got a good deal to stay here, otherwise
this place it is quite expensive. Not as nice as Austria or the Swiss Alps, though.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
First of many Totem Poles I'd come across this trip. I love them as well as other First Nation art.

 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We took the ferry from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (1hr40). BC Ferries is an excellent way to travel. But my feelings
were ambivalent here: I could not decide whether to go through with visiting Vancouver Island or take a short cut
to Vancouver and advance my flight home. The latter option took a number of actions, so I pressed on.

I had planned to make a Bear Tour with Eagle Eye Adventures but left it too late to make a booking on the day after
our arrival in Nanaimo, the only day with good weather forecasted, but that trip was fully booked. The next day there
was no tour and on the monday there were seats but it was going to rain. The thing that made me decide not to go on that
Bear Tour were the boats they were using: large Zodiac-type boats with no room to move, sit still for 2hrs30+ (twice).
I am used to a type of boat I can walk around on, due to the many whale watching trips we 've been on, this was different.
Now I was certain I'd curtail my stay on Vancouver Island, I could not get my had around the doom & gloom.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
I love travelling on these ferry boats. In the low-season there is little need to book in advance, just join the queue.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Frozen in time (Campbell, B.C.)

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
The one day, initially intended for the Bear Tour, with sun and temperatures rising to 16 Celsius!
We spent it searching out aeroplanes (Campbell River Airport and the Water Aerodrome, Comox Air
Museum) but the locations I had written down for watching birds (bald eagles in particular) did not deliver.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Fantastic place! More details on Totem Poles in West (Coastal) Canada is on my 'Stanley Park',@ PAGE TWO.

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Chainsaw carving on the Tyee Spit, near to the Seaplane Base (my planes are on CANADA 2019).

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We actually sat on a washed-ashore tree, nursing a coffee, for quite a long time. We enjoyed our first day
of sunshine and mild temperatures, while we watched birds and boats on the water passing by.
Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta


Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
We noticed that people often kept their coats on while dining. Strange habit, a bit primitive I thought.

 
 

Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta
Qualicum Trading Post. On a previous visit we drove past it, not this time. Did some serious buying here!

Qualicum Trading Post

Qualicum Trading Post


Travel in West Canada (2019): British Columbia + Alberta

Many times we were told there were 'tons of bald eagles' in certain locations, but not during our stay. It was
actually rather frustrating when people spoke out with 100% certainty and when we got there: nothing, zip, nada, niente!
Twice I visited the birdwatching platform on 2500 Comox Road. The 2nd time there was this lonesome bald eagle.
The fact that something negative was the matter with the salmon run, which also made bears and bald eagles go hungry,
featured several times on the evening news. It has widespread consequences, ultimately also for tourism.

 

PAGE ONE | PAGE TWO | RODEO